We talked to Patrick Loepfe of GENTWO about securitization of All assets and he had the following to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Patrick Loepfe: I’m fine, thank you! Fortunately, COVID has spared us so far. But that happy fact notwithstanding, life, in general, is not so easy for me, as is the case for many people these days. Like most of us, I’ve reduced private everyday activities to a minimum. But it’s important to stay positive. I’ve learned to cope with the Coronavirus situation, and I’m confident that better times will be back soon.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded GENTWO.
Patrick Loepfe: I’m GENTWO’s co-founder and Chairman and the inventor of the company’s securitization solution. I hold a master’s degree in mathematics from ETH Zurich. Before founding GENTWO, I worked for a long time in investment banking at various banks as a specialist in structured products and banking services. In 2015, I started my own business as an independent consultant. During this period, I took some time to rethink the classic range of structured products from the ground up. This is how the idea of off-balance-sheet securitization platforms came about, which is the basis of GENTWO’s business model. Then in 2018, I founded GENTWO, together with my business partner Philippe A. Naegeli. Philippe and I knew each other from my time in investment banking. He’s an experienced leader with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and extensive experience in various areas of the international financial world.
How does GENTWO innovate?
Patrick Loepfe: GENTWO enables its institutional clientele worldwide to securitize not only bankable but also non-bankable assets, giving them a Swiss ISIN. Asset managers, family offices, and even banks can take advantage of the GENTWO emissions setup to realize their own innovations, which could be in the form of a new financial product, for example, or an entire business model. At GENTWO, we focus our innovation efforts on two main areas. First is our approach to product innovations. By concentrating intensively on our customers’ needs in the current environment, we continue to expand our offering and provide them with comprehensive support. The second approach has to do with process innovations, also an essential aspect of our work. As disruptors, it’s vital at GENTWO that we design our lean processes – and then keep them lean. We achieve this by investing in automation and standardization.
How is the Coronavirus pandemic affecting your business? How are you coping?
Patrick Loepfe: We actually noticed that customers have become a little more cautious since the beginning of the COVID period. Fortunately, our company’s success has not been negatively affected by Coronavirus so far. Working out of our homes doesn’t cause us any difficulties, either. Of course, in day-to-day business – whether that’s in interactions with employees or with customers – it’s always easier and more pleasant to work out issues personally and discuss them in face-to-face meetings. But with today’s technologies and communication options, this all works quite well, for the most part.
Did you have to make difficult choices? What are the lessons learned?
Patrick Loepfe: As an entrepreneur, you are constantly making difficult or important decisions – on an almost daily basis. For us at GENTWO, it is essential that any such decisions are always made in the context of our customers’ needs. Our motto is, “Clients first!” Our most difficult decision, back in February 2018, was whether to actually found GENTWO at all. You have to invest a lot of private money, after all, and valuable time in a company whose business model you’ve put through its paces in the preparatory phase, but before you actually start up the business, you can’t be sure whether it will prove itself in reality. Successfully testing a business idea is one thing. But it’s another thing entirely to implant it successfully in the market. Today we can look back and say that our decision to found GENTWO was the right one.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Patrick Loepfe: Work-life balance is very important to me. For example, in the winter I like to go skiing, and in the summer I like being on the water. Of course, here in Switzerland, we have an ideal natural environment for achieving this balance. We benefit from living in a beautiful place where you can do a lot of things outdoors and soak up energy from nature itself. But what’s important is not only physical activity in the fresh air. Your inner attitude also counts. As an entrepreneur, you should always have a clear idea about what could be the worst thing that could happen to you. Usually, you’ll realize that the “worst case” that might arise wouldn’t be so dramatically bad after all.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Patrick Loepfe: Our competitors are, for example, larger investment banks. Although this isn’t quite 100% true. Despite offering a similar service, they address a different customer group than we do. But regardless of existing or future competitors, I’m convinced that we’ve put together our range of products so well that we are establishing ourselves on the market for the long term. In any case, we believe that the more competitors push into the market, the more it confirms how interesting our business model is, and the more it becomes clear that we’re on the right track. In general, you could say that when new players enter a market segment, an entirely new market is created. More players ensure more innovation, and ultimately, they’ll get their proper piece of an ever-growing cake.
Your final thoughts?
Patrick Loepfe: At a time when so much is revolving around the Coronavirus, we continue to experience a very positive dynamic in our everyday business. And even though we have to work physically separated from each other, we still feel a personal closeness and solidarity between our customers, employees, and suppliers. Even if our private lives seem to be turned upside down at the moment, our business model hasn’t changed. The decisions we have to make every day are the same as before. So, in this respect, we are looking to the future with confidence. We will continue to make securitization solutions more democratic and enable our customers to make many new (private market) assets investable.
Website GENTWO: http://www.g2fp.com
Website GENTWO Digital: www.g2d.io